Evaluating and measuring outcomes

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Co-financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals

9. Evaluating and measuring outcomes

9.2 Agreeing intended outcomes

If you want your area to have a consistent approach to migration, you should think about what your intended outcomes are.  This means thinking about what difference you want to make, for individuals, communities, organisations, or others.  Often, a good way of thinking about your intended outcomes is imagining what the ideal situation would be in terms of migration for your area – from a range of different perspectives.

This might mean thinking about things like:

  • For individuals moving to our area, we want to:
    • Make sure that people fleeing abuse and persecution can live safely in our area.
    • Make sure that people see our area as an attractive, welcoming place to live.
  • For our communities, we want to make sure that:
    • We increase our population, so that our schools are sustainable and diverse.
    • We build a strong economy with a larger working age population across a wide range of skills and strengths.
    • We attract people who are skilled in certain occupations, to build our economy.
  • For organisations, we want to make sure that:
    • We have a strong, skilled and diverse workforce to attract and retain employers.
    • We stimulate demand in our public services, such as schools and public housing.
    • We manage demand on our public services, spreading demand across our local authority area.

Outcomes can be short or long term.  Short term outcomes can often be focused on process – for example, “organisations work together to share information about migration”.  Longer term outcomes should be about bigger changes you want to bring about in your area – for example “our local authority has a skilled, strong working age population.”

For intended outcomes to be useful, they need to be developed with a clear understanding of what migrant communities need and want. Find out more about engaging with migrants... 

Intended outcomes also need to be agreed and shared across those responsible, and taken forward through clear, senior leadership.  Find out more... This means that people responsible for taking decisions, funding activity and making policies will think about how these should contribute to your intended outcomes.

Find out more...

Your long-term outcomes may link with your community planning partnership’s Single Outcome Agreement, and the Scottish Government’s national outcomes. The Improvement Service provides a Menu of Local Outcome Indicators and a Good Practice Note in relation to Single Outcome Agreements.

Evaluation Support Scotland has very useful guidance on:

The BIG Lottery Fund has produced very helpful, basic guidance on outcomes focused planning.

NHS Health Scotland has a useful website which explains outcomes focused planning for community and voluntary groups.

Agreeing intended outcomes

What you want to achieve locally will vary depending on local context.  We facilitated a national session with migrants and people working with migrant communities early 2015.  This identified some commonality around intended outcomes in relation to migration. Key themes that emerged included:

  • Organisations involved in supporting migration work together
  • The needs and strengths of migrants are central to policy and practice
  • Migrants are aware of services and amenities
  • Communities value the culture and language of migrants
  • Migrants have higher self esteem
  • Tensions between communities are reduced
  • Hate crime is reduced
  • People are happier.

Case study

New Scots: Integrating Refugees in Scotland’s Communities is a national outcomes focused plan to support refugee integration.  It explores the needs of refugees and asylum seekers under clear priority themes; identifies links to national outcomes; and sets activities and targets over a three year period. It also identifies longer term or wider priority issues than need to be addressed outwith the life of the plan, which runs from 2014 to 2017.  Evaluation is built into the plan from the outset.